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Get The Facts

Social and Recreational Options - Fact Sheet

Information Services


Social and Recreational Options - Fact Sheet

One of the most frustrating aspects of a brain injury is that it can leave you at home with little social contact, support, activity - all the things that make life worthwhile.


The following are suggestions for getting more out of life following an a

a traumatic brain injury, stroke or other type of brain disorder. 


Even if you are very motivated however, it is suggested that you check with your rehabilitation specialists or family to get a realistic idea of your capabilities and limitations at this stage of your recovery. A common problem after an acquired brain injury is feeling you have recovered more than you actually have. These options are for Queensland residents. Contact the Brain Injury Association in your area for local information.



TAFE colleges run Adult Education Courses which cover a wide range of activities such as art and crafts, boating, job skills, computers, cooking, languages, relaxation, interior decoration, photography, sports and creative writing. The courses are very reasonably priced and details can be obtained by ringing your local TAFE college or from


The Sporting Wheelies & Disabled Association have a wide range of recreational activities such as abseiling, camping, hot air ballooning, snow skiing and sailing, in regional centres throughout Queensland. The sport side of things includes athletics, wheelchair basketball, powerlifting, cycling, golf, swimming, lawn bowls, marathons, watersport, wheelchair rugby, shooting and tennis. A personal gym program can be devised in the gym at Bowen Hills in Brisbane, or your local gym. The Adult Recreation Program involves monthly activities such as camping, theatre, holidays and away. For further information ring 07 3253 3333, email or visit


As with many areas of Acquired Brain Injury, there are scarce resources and often other services may need to be used. People with a severe brain injury may be able to access recreational services set up for people with an intellectual disability but its suitability should first be investigated. Two organisations that are worth contacting are LifeStream on 07 3891 5466 and the Endeavour Foundation on 07 3874 1000.


Another valuable resource is your local Council. Councils run many community programs and usually maintain a database, accessible on the Internet or by phoning the Council chambers, of programs run by other organisations. If you don't know the contact details for your local Council, or if you aren't sure what your Council is, there is a Local Government Directory for Queensland at



For many, work is an integral part of self esteem and being unable to work can be a contributing factor to the depression that is common after a brain injury. Volunteering Queensland have a wide range of volunteer work available which can be an excellent way to develop confidence again and prepare for a return to work in the future. You can make enquiries by ringing 3002 7600 or check out their website at Another website for volunteer work throughout Australia can be viewed at



For some, studying during their recovery may be very constructive. This can be particularly useful if you won't be able to return to your previous occupation after an acquired brain injury. Once again, you will need an accurate assessment of your abilities to make sure you can cope with the cognitive demands of study. Most educational institutions should have a Disabilities Officer who can help provide you with support through your course. Being realistic about study may mean entering at a certificate level and only doing one or two subjects a semester.


There are also organisations funded by the Department of Employment and Training to offer free courses to people with a disability who are on a Disability Support Pension or who can get a letter of referral from a service provider. A list of funded organisations state-wide (including TAFE colleges) is available on the Department website at You can also follow the links to Jobs & Careers > Job and career planning > Pathways for young people with a disability.



An unfortunate aspect of acquired brain injury may be that you find old friends are lost and you need to make new ones when you may feel least able to.


There are a few support groups in Queensland for people with an acquired brain injury and there is room for many more. These groups are an ideal situation to meet up with others who know how much an acquired brain injury can affect your life. Contact BIAQ to see if there is a group in your area and if there isn't, think about the possibility of starting one in your area as BIAQ is able to provide resources to get you started.


The Acquired Brain Injury Outreach Service (ABIOS) of Queensland Health coordinates an information and skills program called Skills To Enable People and CommunitieS (STEPS). There are STEPS groups around the state, each one run for six weeks by a volunteer coordinator from that area who is provided with training and support by ABIOS. The groups help people with a brain injury to learn self-management, social and community access skills. The coordinators can be family members, people with a brain injury who want to help others, members of the community or staff from service providers. To find out about groups or leadership training opportunities in your area call ABIOS on 1300 727 403 or send an email to


There is also an organisation called Self-Help Queensland which acts as a referral point for self-help and support groups around the state and which provides assistance to people who wish to establish new groups. They can be contacted at , on 07 3344 6919 or by sending an email to


The Friendship Program has been set up by Disability Services Queensland to provide opportunities for people between 18 and 65 with a disability to form friendships with others. This is done by encouraging friendship support through services and community groups and by individual support strategies. Friendship Program Coordinators offer information and training sessions, printed resources, a mentoring role and telephone support. They are located in:

  • Beenleigh/Redlands
  • Brisbane
  • Cairns
  • Gold Coast
  • Ipswich
  • Maryborough
  • Pine Rivers/Redcliffe
  • Rockhampton
  • Toowoomba
  • Townsville


Enquiries can be made on 1300 303 623 or by emailing The Friendship Program has a page on the DSQ website at


If you can't find a group in your local area but you know your way around a computer you can link up with others around the world and share experiences over the internet. A good example is the website at which has chat rooms, message boards, personal stories, free email accounts and picture galleries.


In Australia there is an online community at for young adults with a brain injury, run by an Occupational Therapist who has had a stroke.


Within Queensland, Ken Aitken has formed the Brain Injury Survivor Network which sends email newsletters to a growing number of people with an acquired brain injury. He can be contacted on or through his website at

The Brain Injury Association of QLD can provide a more complete idea of any services available in your local area, on 07 3367 1049 within Brisbane or 1880 673 074.


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